A cybercrime gang is selling classified data apparently stolen from European firm MBDA Missile Systems. For your information, MBDA is a European company that produces missiles and other weapons. It was formed in 2001 from a merger of French, Italian, and British companies. MBDA is the world’s second-largest missile maker after Boeing.

The company has three main product lines: air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and surface-to-air missiles. Its products are used by the militaries of more than 40 countries.

MBDA’s headquarters are in Paris, France. The company has manufacturing plants in France, Italy, Britain, and Spain. It employs over 13,000 people.

Missile Data on Sale for Bitcoin

Unidentified hackers claim that they have classified military data obtained from MBDA after a successful data breach. As seen by Hackread.com, initially, cybercriminals operating on Russian and English hacker forums were selling approx. 80 GB of stolen data for 15 BTC (around $294,000).

However, on August 19th, 2022, the group dropped the price to 1 BTC ($19,000) for 70 GB worth of data.

NATO Investigating Sale of “Classified Military Files” Stolen from European Missile Firm
Data sold on Russian and English language cybercrime forums (Screengrab: Hackread.com)

On the other hand, as reported by BBC, MBDA has admitted that some of its data were hacked after compromising an external hard drive.



 

NATO to Probe the Breach

NATO has launched a probe into selling top-secret weapon and missile data files online. MBDA is cooperating with investigating authorities in Italy, as that’s where the data breach occurred. The probe focuses on one of the company’s suppliers. It is worth noting that NATO is among MBDA’s clients.

“We are assessing claims relating to data allegedly stolen from MBDA,” a NATO representative told media outlets on Friday, adding that there wasn’t any confirmation that any NATO network was compromised. The organization stated that it had implemented all necessary measures for the safety of its networks.

MBDA’s Stance

The company insists that this data breach occurred several weeks back and that the stolen data is not classified or sensitive. MBDA refuted the hacker group’s claims that they are selling classified military data.

“No hacking of our secure networks has occurred. MBDA can confirm that there is no protectively marked data from MBDA involved,” the company explained on Friday.

MBDA further explained that it refused to yield to the hackers’ ransom demands, which is why they are spreading misinformation on the internet to force the company to pay the ransom. However, the company won’t give in and vowed to take all legal actions against the blackmailers.

Breached Data Details

The data, according to samples leaked by hackers, includes weapons blueprints of the France-headquartered MBDA Missile Systems used in the Ukraine war by NATO allies.

Reportedly, the MBDA documents on sale online specify details of the year 2020 “communication intelligence operation” carried out by a US air regiment over Estonia in the Baltics. However, Hackread.com could not verify it.

The leaked sample also shows that the alleged MBDA data includes the mission commander’s coordinates, full name, and contact numbers. Furthermore, Hackread.com also checked some of the files labeled “NATO Confidential,” “NATO Restricted,” “Unclassified Controlled Information,” and “NATO Secret.”

NATO Investigating As Hackers Sell Data from 2nd Largest Missile Firm MBDA
Sample data shared by the hackers

For your information, there are four security classification categories at NATO- NATO Restricted, NATO Confidential, NATO Secret, and Cosmic Top Secret. The fourth category, Cosmic Top Secret, is the highest among all and is assigned to highly-sensitive, confidential files owned by the military alliance.

The data was still up for sale at the time of writing.

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